Quebec Winter Carnival
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Quebec Winter Carnival 2018

Where: 26th January 2018 - 11th February 2018
When: Quebec City, Canada

Quebec Winter Carnival also known as 'Carnaval de Québec' is a perfect way to get rid of those winter blues, celebrate, and indulge in merry making during the cold and snowy winter. The Quebec Carnival -- the world's largest winter carnival -- is a 17 day event and takes place across the various locations of Old Quebec. Experience the heart-warming hospitality and open friendliness of citizens of Quebec during 17 days of pure ecstasy and fun-filled festivities.

The Carnival is considered to be a family event, offering entertainment activities for both adults and children. Some of these exciting activities include snow rafting, touring the legendary Ice Palace, or watching various teams carving snow sculptures. There is a play zone for little children as well.

Quebec Winter Carnival Traditions

The Carnival is essentially a celebration of winter and its beginning and ending are marked by the grand ceremonies that are held in the legendary Ice Palace in the presence of the Mayor of Quebec and thousands of visitors. According to the history, the habitants of Quebec had a boisterous tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and celebrate. Today that tradition has transformed into the world's largest carnival with people coming together from all over the world to be a part of the fun and festivities.

Quebec Winter Carnival Festivities

Quebec Winter Carnival festivities are considered officially opened after a grand opening ceremony held at the Ice Palace which is an architectural marvel in itself.

The major crowd puller of the Carnival is 'Bonhomme' – a live amicable snowman which seems to be everywhere during the carnival. After Bonhomme's official arrival in the city, the Mayor of Quebec hands over the keys to the Ice Palace making him the undisputed master of the kingdom. Bonhomme with his coal black eyes, red hat, arrow sash, and a broad smile is not just a simple mascot; he is an ambassador of the Carnival who speaks for and in the name of the Carnival. Bonhomme is the character that welcomes everyone with a warm hug and words ‘Bonjour welcome to the Carnaval de Québec.'

The classic festivities in the Carnival include night parades, ice slides, snow rafting, snow sculptures, horse-drawn sleigh rides, skating with Bonhomme, and outdoor concerts.

Some of the important symbols of the festival are Bonhomme, a traditional sash and the long red plastic Carnival trumpets which can be heard all the time during the Carnival.

Tickets for the Carnival

The ticket to the Carnival is a souvenir in itself as it is a miniature effigy of Bonhomme and is your official pass for all the activities at the carnival. The effigy can be bought for USD 10 at various kiosks and other outlets in the city. You can also purchase a group package where you get a special rate if you buy 25 effigies or more. You can also buy four Effigies for the price of three which is an excellent deal for a family of four.

For the Quebec Winter Carnival 2018 effigies will be available from mid-December.

Tips for the Carnival

With sub zero temperatures, cold bitter winds and loads of night time activities it is always better to pack and dress appropriately so that you can enjoy the festivities. It is advisable to dress in multiple layers, with waterproof clothing as the outermost layer. Also wear good boots as during the carnival there tends to be a lot of walking in the snow.

Since it is a major celebration in Quebec it is better to make your hotel reservations well in advance to avoid any last minute inconvenience and disappointments.

It is advisable to chalk out a route for the carnival. Although most of the activities are within the walking distance of each other it is better to plan ahead and see which are the activities you would like to attend so that you can create an appropriate itinerary.

To beat the winter chill, try to balance outdoor and indoor activities at the carnival.

If travelling with young children it is better to carry a stroller as walking in the snow can get tiring for them.

Although most of the activities are free of charge, it is always better to carry some loose change with you for some drinks and snacks.

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